How to be with a writer

Being in a relationship is hard enough, but what to do when your significant other is a writer? When they fear the rejection of their editor more than they fear you not saying “I love you” back (but somehow thrive on that rejection too, as it helps them to write)? How to be in their thoughts when their brains are occupied by words of imagination and non-existent characters (or ghosts from their past)? And God help you when they feel they have creative block and sit under a duvet eating peanuts for inspiration, convinced the world is over if another adjective does not come forth. Run a mile you idiot! Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.

You’re really determined aren’t you? Either your significant other is really hot or you are masochistic. As you are still reading, you really need to know this…

Firstly, your significant other has deluded themselves into thinking they are tortured and that by the pen is the only way to live. Their parents did not hug them as a child and they are hell bent on retribution that will only be delivered when they are a ‘writer.’ This means critical acclaim (also known as being quoted on Facebook.)

They will spend their lives looking for blank verse and will not settle for dull conversation, they can only open up to their therapist or other creative friends and if you, yourself are involved in the corporate or finance world, do yourself a favour and start reading as many books as you can. Start with Harry Potter, at least you will be able understand how deluded one can get or draw parallels with the real world. For example Voldemort is an uber-terrorist and the death eaters are his suicide bombers. Another fine example would be Voldemort is like Hitler and the death eaters are his Nazis.

They might ask you random things like; do you ever think about unanswered textures? At times like this, just nod and say yes I’ve always wondered why grass is green and not purple. They will really like this and say, “Yes baby, you really understand me don’t you?” Keep nodding.

Read their blog, for the love of God do. You won’t understand much of it but you will be able to figure out if they are in a good mood or a bad one and if they are writing about anything to do with the sea, chances are they are thinking about drowning in their sorrows again and the sea that filleth their cup with wine, is both the agony and ecstacy, more so for you, go out get drunk, keep clear.

Practice understanding verbose metaphors. Read Shantaram, Gregory Roberts does a wonderful job of writing beautifully, your significant other will do everything they can to replicate such metaphoric symmetry and fail but you will gain insight in their absentminded rambling, they will call it rhetoric, do not fall for it. It’s rambling!

Getting them to marry you (should you want to) might be tricky, suggest running away together and quote Shakespeare. Accept the inevitable, your kids (should you have them) will be messed up but incredible.

Your significant other will be away with the fairies, will suddenly go MIA as they have to extract each syllable from their soul from a sudden burst of inspiration – and if you let them they will take you there.

Into the dulcet world of words and waywardness, aside from 9 to 5, taxes, grocery lists and weekend laundry – is an intoxication only the significant other of a writer can know.

When they see you smile with love, they know that only you understand the pencil marks in battered books on their dusty shelves, splashes of ink gleaming in their eyes and the scrapbooks of their life in bits and pieces here and there, both scribed and unwritten.

Only you see and feel those invisible imprints on their fingers from beating their keyboard for hours, rewriting until that one idea, that one sentence, that one word, that one letter… is just right.

Their entire being is shackled to a world of creation and you feel it when they touch you, when they look at you, searching deep into you for that world in the here and now, it is what it is and together you create it, on the brink of your love – you make those moments that will fuel your significant other late into the night with their intrinsic imagination.

You see the beauty of breaking down when your significant other’s characters breathe or die; you feel their passion for you when they hold onto you for dear life, because at the end of the day it is you who is real. Some days it is too much and some days it is fine – it is both human and divine. They have you to ground them and you have them to lift you and together the waves of your love, you ride.

You coincide, living between the real world and the imaginary, the best of both, on the edge of the world you both try.


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